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  • Writer's pictureMatt Suprunowicz

What is Sustainability?

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

An introduction to a vague term and a broad range of topics


This Lesson Plan is part the Sustainability Module of SustainEd Farms' virtual programming.


  1. Individually review the learning goals and academic vocabulary. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

  2. Watch today’s video lesson, linked below.

  3. Read the discussion information as a class. Please be ready to volunteer or be chosen to read.

  4. For DGS students: on Google Classroom, find the choice activity document for today, and pick an activity. Let me know what you choose.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Understand what “sustainability” means and apply it to activities in their own life

Academic Vocabulary

sustainability /səˌstānəˈbilədē/ noun. - the ability to meet the needs of current and future generations of humans while maintaining and supporting the ecological systems on which they rely

Video Lesson

Watch the following video lesson below, and be prepared to discuss the video.

Discussion Information for "What is Sustainability?"

Unfortunately, the word “sustainability” is sometimes used so often that it loses its “true” meaning. Due to its overuse and broad applicability, people are often confused by what sustainable ways of living actually look like in practice. To be sustainable, the system or practice in question should not only meet human needs in the present, but it must be able to take into consideration the lives of humans not yet born while simultaneously nurturing the ecosystems on which all of humanity relies upon for food, pristine water, and clean air.

Sustainable practices range from recycling at home all the way to the complexities of intercropping a farm and intensive livestock management. This wide scope of relevance means that anyone can participate in creating a sustainable future. Do you partake in any of the following sustainable practices?:

  • Alternative transportation, like riding your bike instead of driving a car

  • Efficient energy use, like using LED bulbs instead of fluorescent and incandescent lights

  • Waste reduction, such as composting and recycling instead of throwing things in the trash

Additional Resources:

Download the PDF version of this lesson plan:

What is Sustainability_
Download PDF • 574KB

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